Swing Out Sister

Origin Manchester, England, UK
Pop pop rock sophisti-pop

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Swing Out Sister are an English pop group best known worldwide for the 1986 song “Breakout”. Other hits include “Surrender”, “Twilight World”, “Waiting Game” and a remake of the Eugene Record soul composition “Am I the Same Girl?”

Although Swing Out Sister are currently a duo, they began as a trio in the UK. The group was formed by Andy Connell (keyboards) and Martin Jackson (drums); they were later joined by Corinne Drewery (vocals). The group’s name came from the title of a 1945 movie starring Arthur Treacher, called Swing Out, Sister, and they claim they chose the name because it was the only thing the band could agree on, in that they all hated it[citation needed]. Both Connell and Jackson had been playing in other bands prior to forming SOS, while Drewery was a fashion designer and model before she became the band’s lead vocalist.

52nd Street’s Diane Charlemagne was influential in the period just prior the band signing to Phonogram Records. Connell and Jackson, outside of their usual roles as Manchester musicians in, A Certain Ratio and Magazine, were producing Electro tracks for Morgan Khan’s Streetwise label with a degree of underground success. This activity triggered interest from a few major labels including Phonogram/Mercury Records. Vocalised songs were asked for, so Connell who knew Charlemagne through Factory Records, approached her to sing on the Phonogram demos. These demos helped secure Connell and Jackson’s major label contract. This was the period in which 52nd Street moved from Factory Records to Virgin Records and as a result, Diane Charlemagne’s Swing Out Sister involvement ended.

In March 2014, the group announced a project entitled ‘A Moveable Feast’ to be released via Direct-to-Fan music platform PledgeMusic, saying: “We’re making a thing, don’t know what it is yet. Come along for the ride and we’ll find out together.” The project will include new material written for this album and possibly some new arrangements of older Swing Out Sister songs.

In September 2015 Swing out Sister shipped their album, Rushes, to those who had signed up to the pledge; this included short samples of the songs that Swing Out Sister are writing for the ‘Moveable Feast’ project. The content is also available as downloadable MP3 tracks to those who donated money to support the development of the album.


Main article: Swing Out Sister discography

1987: It’s Better to Travel
1989: Kaleidoscope World
1992: Get in Touch with Yourself
1994: The Living Return
1997: Shapes and Patterns
1999: Filth and Dreams
2001: Somewhere Deep in the Night
2004: Where Our Love Grows
2008: Beautiful Mess
2012: Private View
2015: Rushes